In the last year, TRIEC has embarked on a project to increase the number of partners involved in The Mentoring Partnership, and recruit more participants to the program. Beatrice Kohlenberg, Manager of The Mentoring Partnership Referral Project, explains.
Making mentoring available to more skilled immigrants is one of the key goals of TRIEC’s flagship program, The Mentoring Partnership, for the next three years. The program has embarked on an ambitious growth plan, which requires deeper and stronger relationships with current partners, but also building partnerships with new community organizations who share TRIEC’s vision of the future: a region that prospers by fully engaging the contribution of skilled immigrants.
With funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, TRIEC launched a pilot project aiming to connect the settlement sector and other immigrant-serving programs with current partner organizations in The Mentoring Partnership. The objective of the project is to test the potential of these new partners to reach more skilled immigrants who would benefit from mentoring and refer them to the program service delivery providers.
Seven community organizations are participating in the pilot: the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services, the Centre for Education and Training, College Boreal, North York Community House, Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services, Times Change, and the Tropicana Employment Centre.
The referral pilot project enhances and complements the existing services of the participating organizations, such as settlement, language training, and employment preparation programs. In doing this, it increases their collective impact.
The referral model works in a very simple way: skilled immigrants who are accessing services at the referral partner agencies are pre-screened and those who are eligible and suitable for mentoring are referred to one of the five program Service Delivery Partners participating in the pilot: ACCES Employment, COSTI, Humber Community Employment Services, JobStart, and JVS Toronto.
“Application pre-screening makes the referral process seamless and efficient,” says Adriana Vucetic-Odorico, Manager, Employment Services, Centre for Education & Training. “We will be working very closely with The Mentoring Partnership partners to ensure we are supporting the successful journey of those we refer. Having a mentor is a part of the job search web of Canadians and the Canadian work place culture, and we look forward to referring the skilled immigrants we are working with to the mentoring program in the communities we serve.”
For Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services, a community organization with a long history of assisting newcomers, mentoring referrals will add great value to the services provided to internationally trained professionals. “Through this partnership, newcomers will have a better access to an extensive pool of mentors from the business community. We know that mentors are guiding skilled immigrants into the field of their choice while opening up new opportunities and connections which would not be available without this project”, says Nadia Sokhan, Director of Monitoring, Reporting and Partnership.
The pilot runs until March 31, 2018. A comprehensive individual, organizational and systemic impact evaluation will be conducted and its recommendations will inform TRIEC’s future efforts to build sustainable partnerships in the community and allow more skilled immigrants to benefit from mentoring.
To learn more about The Mentoring Partnership program, visit www.thementoringpartnership.com.